List of Inductees 2020
Brad Barton was born on June 14, 1945, in Jordantown, a small, segregated black community of 600 in western Nova Scotia. His father was a labourer; his mother, a housekeeper; he had five siblings. He spent his early life in the church - his father and grandfather were deacons, and Brad was in the choir. He made his own fun: softball, rolling tires down the road, picking berries and selling them.
After high school, Brad became a teacher in North Preston, another segregated community near Halifax. “I just fell in love with it,” he says. “They embraced me and welcomed me. I was sure that’s what I wanted to do: be a teacher “To this day, when I see students, they still approach me. That’s always a good feeling. From North Preston, he enrolled in the Nova Scotia Teachers College, where he was part of the first physical education class in 1964. One of the requirements of the program was to become qualified as an official in three sports. Barton played soccer and volleyball at NSTC and senior basketball for a Truro team. When he came out of school in 1966, now working as a physical education teacher at a junior high in Bedford, he could referee all three sports.” For more than 30 years, Brad taught and was a principal and vice-principal in schools across Nova Scotia, eventually teaching his students’ children.
In addition to teaching, one of Brad’s passions was refereeing volleyball. He started out as a local referee and worked his way up to become an international referee, and over the course of his career officiated at two Olympic Games, two World Championships, four World Student Games, one Pan-American Games and numerous other international competitions in Canada and elsewhere. One of the highlights of his career was officiating the women’s bronze medal match at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Over the course of more than 50 years as an official, Brad continued to officiate at the high school, club, college and university levels in addition to his work as an international referee.
Perhaps Brad’s greatest contribution to volleyball in Canada was his work as an administrator. For seven years, from 1978-1985, Brad served as the Referee-in Chief (or the National Officials’ Chair) for the Canadian Volleyball Association. In this role he was responsible for the assigning, rating, evaluation and development of referees at the regional, national and international levels in Canada. In this role, he was responsible for assigning all referees at the various national championships in Canada as well as at the World Student Games in Edmonton in 1983. Brad’s administrative skills and experience were put to good use in this role as he established the framework for officiating programs in Canada that helped to elevate officiating across the country. For his outstanding work as the National Officials’ Chair, Brad was recognized by the Canadian Volleyball Association with a Service Award and was honoured with the National Officials’ Committee Lifetime Member Award.
Brad has frequently been recognized for his accomplishments and contributions as an educational administrator and a key figure in sport in Nova Scotia and Canada. He was previously inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and the Digby Sports Wall of Fame. He was also recognized with the Marjorie Turney-Bailey Athletic Achievement Award and was recognized by Dalhousie University with a Volleyball Recognition Award for his Outstanding Contribution to Volleyball. Brad was also named as the Nova Scotia Amateur Official of the Year and was recognized by the Minister of Recreation for his participation in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. In addition, Brad is a recipient of the Order of Canada and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Jubilee Award.
Brad is rightly satisfied and proud of his contributions to volleyball in Nova Scotia and Canada. “I think what I have achieved in volleyball is probably one of the things most satisfying to me” he says. “I have officiated all over the world which has provided me an opportunity to meet people of all nationalities and enabled me to become a better person. Doing this really made me appreciate who I was and what I had,” he explained.
Brad has made a difference in the lives of the countless people he mentored, inspired and befriended. He touched us all with his passion, commitment and love for volleyball. Today, we are honoured to induct Brad Barton as a Referee into the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame for his work as a referee, administrator and leader in our sport.